Normally I try not do write-ups for this project, but if you know me personally, you know that I tend to bring personal stories to every work of art I do. And if you don’t know me personally.. here’s your first dose of it.
Yvonne, the woman in this photograph, is one of the most important people in my life and is a primary reason for why I created this project. I met her through a strange set of circumstances and coincidences, and when I was beginning to create my first project, 50 Extraordinary Women, she was one of the first people I added. I thought she was interesting - she had so many hobbies and just seemed like a genuinely good person. But I had no idea she carried such a past with her.
I spent five days with her in April to photograph her for 50 Extraordinary Women. The second night I was there, we were sitting on her couch and she told me her story. If you watched the video I posted the other day, you will recognize it.
When she was five, her step-father (who she refers to as her father, as he raised her and she had his last name) began molesting her every night. It continued for five years. When she was ten, it escalated to rape. She endured nine years of continuous abuse, and the rest of her teenage years were tumultuous because of the childhood she suffered. But with combination of her strength, her faith*, and her husband of 36 years, she was able to lead an incredible fulfilling life - raising four children, taking in others who needed a home, and being what I viewed her as in the very beginning: a genuinely good person.
At the end of her story, she then told me that a few years ago, shortly before her father’s death, she decided to forgive him. I couldn’t really wrap my head around that fact - I was almost frustrated with it. After I got home later that week, I had dinner with my sister and told her how I didn’t understand that Yvonne could just forgive the man who hurt her so often. My sister, in turn, asked, “How can you NOT understand it?” - because the forgiveness was not to heal her father, but to heal herself.
Everything just clicked for me at that moment, even more so than when Yvonne told me her story a few days prior. And now, after writing this, it’s clear to me that this project is for her. It is her incredible ability to heal that makes me want to help others who are struggling with ghosts from their past.
I hope if you are ever feeling lost, you remember Yvonne’s story and know that you can heal.
You will heal.
And you are never alone.
* Side note: I prefer to not bring religion/faith/spiritualism/etc into anything, but I mention her faith because I know it’s an important part of her. However, this is not a Christian project.. and it is not an Atheist project either. Hopefully I don’t offend anyone with this.. I just don’t want to be associated with anything.
I have created three days for a NYC photo day.
Friday, December 9th, 9am - 430pm
Saturday, December 10th, 9am - 3pm
Sunday, December 11th, 12pm - 3pm
You will be given a half hour slot. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the time and date you prefer and I will send you the details on where I will be shooting. I will provide the poster board.. I am hoping to fill up all these slots - please share with your friends and family.
When this person emailed me a few weeks ago with what they’d write on their poster, I was definitely curious about the definition. After perusing the internet, I found it is considered Guyanese translation for “cunt”. Urban Dictionary states it to be the "absolute lowest form of a female human being"
Submitted by a reader who is too far away to be photographed. If you also are too far away, please email a high resolution photograph submission to email@example.com.
Don’t forget, there is a New Jersey photo day on Friday. If you are interested in participating, send me an email. I will be announcing NYC and Massachusetts photo days in the next week or so.
Unbreakable: The Video Version
Created as a final project for my video class. I’m not really a video person at all, but oh well. I know that this tumblr is primarily supposed to be photos, but I wanted to share it anyway.
I owe this completely to the survivors whose stories I mentioned in the video.
This project isn’t even a week old and I’m already receiving lots of emails about people wanting to participate. Because of the mass amounts of interest, I’ve decided to create “photo days” in three areas: NYC, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. If you would like to participate in the project, you can come to one of the days where you will be meeting me for a small time slot to be photographed.
I’m still planning the NYC and Massachusetts photo days, but the New Jersey day will be on Friday, November 25th. I will be located in the Monmouth County area, located close to the shore. If you send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, I will be able to send you more details on where and what time.
I’m also looking to add more men to the project, so please don’t be ashamed to send an email as well.
Also, I am routinely being asked if it’s okay to send in a photo of yourself holding a quote because you are from far away: I am absolutely taking submissions. You may email them to the email address above. I am going to use one day a week where I will only post submitted images. Feel free to portray yourself however you want - whether you only want the poster showing, whether you want your face showing, etc.
If you have any questions/concerns, please feel free to send me an email - especially if you are going through a difficult time and need someone to talk to.
I appreciate all of your support so much, and I will be continuing to post more images this week.
Thank you and stay strong,
Hi.. I guess I should probably explain more about this project. I’m doing it for as long as I can, and I’m prepared to photograph hundreds of people, if not more. If you are in the NYC area (or planning to be soon) and are interested in participating, please send me an email at email@example.com. Your identity will never be published. The only thing I ask is that you are a sexual abuse victim - it can be either physically or emotionally.